Wednesday, May 17, 2017

In gardens, beauty is a by-product. The main business is sex and death. ~Sam Llewelyn

Llewelyn's astute observation was driven home recently after my frantically digging up 200 plants comprising of onions, shallots, leeks, and garlic. Their slimy, stinking remains were stuffed into bags as dusk settled around the potager so I could haul our bin out to the sidewalk for the next day's early morning garbage pickup. The tentative diagnoses:  maggots had their way with the onions; thrips, the leeks; mildew, the garlic and shallots. The mama house sparrows would have their way with the strawberries if that bed wasn't covered with netting. I have told them they are welcome to the bounty at the top of the fig tree because it's too high for harvesting. Since I don't know their language, my suggestion fell on deaf ears.

Torn egg cartons as mulch keep the berries away from the soil to prevent rotting

As a minuscule-scale food grower, I am inspired by the tenacity and resilience of farmers. After all, because of them, weThe Calm One has already got some onions and garliccan buy what we require until the next growing season. When I need a boost of courage, I hop on Twitter and read tweets under the hashtag of #Agripapa which is what I did following The Great Allium Demise. The next day I made it a point to note all the wonderful produce and decorative plants which are coming along well. The peaches are doing peachy.


All three beds of yellow-fleshed, red-skinned Desiree potatoes are flourishing.


One of the most beautiful by-products of our garden is this peony.


Calla lilies are thriving under the shade of the old pear tree.

The feathery foliage in the left background is what remains from the asparagus harvest

Yellow snails are always a delight to see. I suspect this is the white-lipped snail (Cepaea hortensis).


The sunny one was resting on the robust (take a few bites it won't matter!) foliage of what I can only conclude to be a double-flowered version of the beauty bush (Linnaea amabilis). I noticed it after a year following our arrival but thought it was a stubborn weed bush. Therefore I kept whacking it down through the years. But it got the better of me, and thank goodness it did!

It now towers over people, even tall ones like The Calm One

The purple plum (prunier d'ente) is festooned with developing fruit.


The English lavender bushes flanking the front garden path are putting out their tiny buds. Soon there will be a profusion of fragrant flowers.


Disappointing as it was to lose so many edibles, especially the leeks because they still were healthy last week for some to be harvested for Shakshuka, the garden goes on in that inimitable way it has.


À la prochaine!